Police brutality meted out on people of color is embedded in the video feed of our culture. Not even two weeks after honoring the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, our frozen reality dishonors his dream. During a traffic stop, 29-year-old Tyre Nichols was beaten to death by five members of a special police strike force in Memphis. All five are fired and facing murder charges. I (Rick) was off the grid for four days and didn’t know what was happening in the world. I emerged into a sea of grief and shock… again. 

I knew Vibrant Faith’s Fred Oduyoye and Dr. Nancy Going had been just across the border from Memphis, leading a ministry training at a black church in Mississippi as part of of Thriving Congregations project. Right away, I wondered if anyone had shown up for the training, and if they had, how could they engage in the training with all of that grief, anger, and despair swirling around them? When I talked to Fred and Nancy, I learned my expectations were completely off, and for reasons I could not have predicted. 

In this Reachable Reconciliation conversation, Fred tells the story—discover a crucial takeaway that every ministry leader needs to hear…

Rick Lawrence is Executive Director of Vibrant Faith—he created the new curriculum Following JesusHe’s editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible and author of 40 books, including The Suicide Solution,The Jesus-Centered Life and Jesus-Centered Daily. He hosts the podcast Paying Ridiculous Attention to Jesus.


Into the Dark

This morning I woke up to yet another school shooting in my hometown of Denver. A 17-year-old student at Denver East High School opened fire

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We have just come to a new realization in our Thriving Congregations Project. Because of it, we moved our 27 Thriving Congregations churches from cohort

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